Twitter's revenues double after new efforts to attract advertisers

The social network is trying to convince investors it can be as profitable as Facebook, Google and Yahoo

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The Independent Online

Twitter’s UK revenues more than doubled last year as the social network stepped up efforts to make money from its platform.

UK revenues jumped from $66.5 million (£43.26m) in 2013 to $140.3 million (£91.27m) last year, according to Twitter’s annual report. Britain remained Twitter’s biggest overseas market, accounting for 10% of overall revenue.

The jump in revenues comes as the microblogging site doubles down on efforts to convince investors that it can be as profitable as rivals such as Facebook, Google and Yahoo. Twitter’s overall revenue jumped from $664 million to $1.4 billion, but the business remained in the red, making a loss of $577 million, compared to $645 million in 2013.

Last year saw the launch of products such as Twitter for Business and TV tie-in Amplify in the UK in a bid to draw advertising spend. International advertising is not as profitable for Twitter as in the US, with just $1.16 made per timeline view compared to $5.65 in America. Twitter said it plans to hire more sales and advertising staff in Ireland, Brazil, Canada and Singapore in response.

Twitter also warned European regulation poses a threat to its advertising and analytics operations. The European Union is currently looking at harsher data protection legislation that could restrict its ability to personalise ads and provide analytics products. If the rules as passed, Twitter warned it would have to “create duplicative, and potentially expensive, information technology infrastructure and business operations in Europe” or cut back on its advertising business. Breaches of the new rules would land tech companies with blockbuster fines of up to 5% of annual revenues.

Twitter’s monthly active users, a key measure of performance, rose to 288 million in December from 284 million in September but the rate of growth appears to be slowing, a concern for investors. Shares are currently at $48.15, only marginally above the level they closed at on their first day of trade 18 months ago.